Florence Price

Max Barrett

A visionary with seemingly boundless energy, pianist Lara Downes is clearing new paths in the classical music landscape, expanding minds and spurring social change.

Russell Frost

February 1, 2021. A collection of classical music written by African-American women over the last century is a jewel—an example of the depth and range of compositions that lie waiting to be discovered. As we begin Black History Month, Soulscapes is our Classical Album of the Week. First released in 2006, its message persists in 2021, awakening us to artists too long overlooked.

Professional trumpet player, educator, advocate, and arts leader Stanford Thompson is founder and executive director of Play On, Philly, which teaches hundreds of children in underserved communities to play classical music in orchestral settings.

May 18, 2020. As Memorial Day approaches, we think of the service and sacrifice of so many to protect our country and keep us safe. Our classical album of the week, Some of These Days, is a recent release by pianist Lara Downes featuring American music about perseverence, hope, and caring for one another.

February 10, 2020. Continuing our celebration of Black History Month, WRTI’s Classical Album of the Week is devoted to the neglected symphonies of Florence Price, who was the first African-American woman to have a large-scale symphonic work performed by a major orchestra.

June 10, 2019. Four Women is not just the debut album of pianist Samantha Ege, it’s a window onto a labor of love. A British artist of Jamaican and Nigerian heritage, Ege has dedicated the last several years of her life to amplifying under-represented women composers—both Europeans and African-Americans— inlcuding Florence Price, Vítězslava Kaprálová, Ethel Bilsland, and Margaret Bonds.

In 1933, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra gave the world premiere of Symphony No. 1 by a then little-known composer named Florence Price. The performance marked the first time a major orchestra played music by an African-American woman.

Price's First Symphony, along with her Fourth, has just been released on an album featuring the Fort Smith Symphony, conducted by John Jeter.